Copa America USMNT General Discussion

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by thedukeofsoccer, Jun 4, 2024.

  1. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    Thanks for the links. Some interesting stuff. Including this quote from Bielsa that USMNT fans would do well to meditate upon.

    “Teams express themselves based on the quality of their players,” Bielsa said. “National-team coaches are testimonial figures who have little influence, both in the good and the bad.”
     
  2. nycfc919

    nycfc919 Member+

    Aug 17, 2015
    I took a lot of heat when I made a very similar comment on this. National team managers don't matter nearly to the degree that the average person thinks they do.
     
  3. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    Another pearl of wisdom from Bielsa:

    In March, Bielsa told reporters he had not had sufficient time to fully install his ideas. He then credited his players for executing his tactics in spite of a congested calendar. “The Uruguayan footballer has unconditional support for their national team, which leads to them prioritizing their country over everything else,” said Bielsa.
     
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  4. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    Our team likes to emphasize how great the team culture is. I wonder if they know about the depth of team culture of a country like Uruguay. They probably have no clue. It is something that is over a century old. Uruguay's most valuable asset. We are like a toddler. A promising toddler. But a toddler nonetheless.
     
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  5. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
    These are important comments because they demonstrate how replaceable a national team manager is. Thus, when a national team is on a cold streak or underperforming, concerns about culture or systems shouldn't get in the way of decisive action to try something new.
     
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  6. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I find his comments interesting as he may be one of the few coaches internationally to have more influence. His system requires a bit different player and mindset than most others. Probably most of their best players can adapt but if not they wouldn't be chosen. Just think about how if he'd been chosen for us which players wouldn't be there and which others would. Would Aaronson be a starter? I know he was after him for Leeds before he was let go.
     
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  7. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They don’t but they get tons of heat because they are the only input you can change. Different coaches may pick different players around the fringes, but otherwise you can’t change your player pool so everything becomes about the coach for fans.
     
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  8. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don’t doubt Uruguay’s team culture, but the more valuable thing is they’ve been consistently been able to produce elite players at a level we have not. Just like this team has players like Nunez, Valverde, and Araujo (and others).
     
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  9. theboogeyman

    theboogeyman Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Yep. If anything, I think team culture is overrated. The French are often said to have poor team culture, but they still win a ton because they have great players. Uruguay often does well at big tournaments, but they also often have elite players. For me, I think the current US group’s culture is noteworthy primarily because things were reportedly so toxic during much of the Klinsmann era, especially the 2018 cycle (not putting that all or even mostly on him, just using it as a timeframe). I don’t really have many concerns about players being complacent. They show up for official matches pretty consistently. Basically all of the disappointing displays in terms of effort came during friendlies. I’d obviously prefer that they don’t have any, but they’re not machines, and this is much better than the alternative of in-fighting that spills over into official games.
     
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  10. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah I think our culture is good, but I also think we aren’t unique in terms of international teams in having good culture.
     
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  11. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Nov 4, 2011
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
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  12. theboogeyman

    theboogeyman Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Yeah I certainly agree. I think the biggest positives with the usmnt are 1) American culture is very open 2) there’s not a lot of intense media scrutiny.

    A country like Uruguay might have good camaraderie, but would they be eager to help a guy who doesn’t speak Spanish well into the team? How would the other Croatians have accepted CP had he chosen to play for them? Then you have the media and social pressure, which several Mexican players have taken issue with. It’s obviously overwhelming in countries like England too. I could be very wrong, but I imagine they probably have a more business-like approach that’s probably not as inviting as forgiving as the usmnt. Basically, what works for us might not work for other countries, and vice versa.
     
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  13. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    Saw this and thought it was interesting in how it somewhat mirrors a lot of the discussion around here. Micah seems to place Foden's lack of impressing for England on the coach/system/teammates and external factors. Cesc, on the other hand, basically says, yeah, yeah, that all matters but what really matters more is an individual needs to step up himself and impose himself on the game, using Jude Bellingham as an example of a player who finds ways to be effective regardless the system he is in.



    I think they both have valid points, as is often the case around here. Coaching and systems matter, but players have to find ways to rise up and make their qualities known and shine wherever they play. We know mostly what we are likely to get as far as a system of play, like it or not. I'm hoping in the Copa we see some guys step up and impose themselves on the game regardless how we set up.
     
  14. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004
    La Quinta

    Jude Bellingham is a great example of a player finding a different level with a new coach and teammates. He had 19 La Liga goals this past season after scoring 12 during his three seasons in the Bundesliga. I'm not sure he's the best example of a guy who manages to be equally effective regardless of the manager. Effective maybe. But I think we definitely saw a bump from his this season after he got away from a bad manager.
     
  15. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    He definitely added more goals, but he was clearly a standout midfielder at Dortmund that caught the eye of just about anyone watching, looking good enough to get a move to Real Madrid. So, I wouldn't exactly say he suffered or looked poor under the system at Dortmund too much. He showed he could thrive in a whole new way at Real Madrid after thriving at Dortmund. The scary thing is that he's also still young and improving. An amazing player just about anywhere you put him really.
     
  16. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    The other thing that translates over is Micah complaining that he is playing wide and Cesc pointing out that in possession (which I assume is when all this stepping up would take place) he comes inside.

    I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Foden so this performance wasn’t really a cause for major concern. Kane only getting 2 touches in a half stood out more to me.
     
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  17. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Basically my take was that Jude was great, an incredible prospect at BVB, but he forced too many speculative efforts or dribbles. What seems to have happened this season is that a huge share of them have gone in. He went from 3 npG on 4.8 npxG to 7 npG on 7.4 npxG with Dortmund to 18 npG on 10.3 npxG!!! So unless he has become a much better finisher than Messi in the span of one season, things just went his way + he got more looks playing in a more advanced role for a better team.
     
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  18. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    This is a huge part. Especially early in the season, Madrid was playing without a striker, really, and Bellingham was filling that role out of midfield with runs into the box after the wingers had created.

    That overperformance is still pretty stunning, but whatever that was to start the season -- like a goal in each of his first 8 games or something -- will do that.
     
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  19. tomásbernal

    tomásbernal Member+

    Sep 4, 2007
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're right. And it's exciting that we get to be part of such steps, knowing how much bigger they can be one day.
     
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  20. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The biggest thing for me with Bellingham is he went to Real Madrid and it was clearly immediately the stage wasn’t too big for him. It’s rare to have a guy establish themselves as a club like that in that fashion so quickly.
     
  21. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Michael Cox did a good article about the issues with Foden on the left versus the right.

    https://www.nytimes.com/athletic/5558169/2024/06/14/england-euro-2024-squad-balance/

    Basically he’s much better being an inverted winger from the right but that’s Saka’s best spot and it’s also Palmer’s.

    And if they play Trippier at left back (which they are going to have to do at least early in the tournament), you’re going to need more width from your winger which Foden isn’t really equipped to provide.

    What I would do different if I were Southgate is 1) bring an additional actual left back in case Shaw can’t go, 2) with a 26 man roster bring one of Grealish or Rashford despite neither having a great season just you have an inverted winger on that side (and Man U was such a mess this year that Rashford might be better when you get him away from that), 3) give up on the notion of Trent Alexander Arnold as a center mid and just play him at right back against teams you except to control the ball against, 4) in the midfield you need to just roll with Gallagher or move Bellingham back and play Foden as the attacking mid, and 5) bring Branthwaite and maybe start him next to Stones.
     
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  22. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004
    La Quinta
    He's always been mature beyond his years so that's not surprising to me. I was surprised by the number of goals he scored though. Some of that is playing for a dominant team, but I'd be surprised if 19 league goals becomes the norm for him over his career.
     
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  23. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’m not a Madrid fan but I have a close friend who is and he was really impressed by it. What he told me is a player that confident and that good from such a young age at day 1 at Madrid is just not common.

    The goals were an over performance of xG so that will probably come back to earth. But he really did score in some really big moments for them.

    I think Vinicius Jr. probably actually deserves the Ballon D’Or but feels like Bellingham is the front runner right now. But given it’s a summer with two major tournaments whatever happens at both will greatly influence who wins it.
     
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